as published in Shaoshan, a newspaper of Red Guards of the ‘Red Flag’ tendency.
The first year of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution was for making the arrangements; the second is for striving for victory, establishing temporary power structures, and the revolutionizing of thinking; the third is for tidying up. The main things to be done at present are major criticism and the achieving of great alliances and triple combinations.footnote1
The publication of Yao Wen-yuan’s articlefootnote2 was a signal. This signal was firmly opposed by P’eng Chenfootnote3 and others; even my suggestion that it should be printed as a pamphlet was utterly rejected. As a result I had to take charge of the drafting of the May 16th Notice,footnote4 in which the question of lines and the question of the two roads was clearly brought up. Most people thought at the time that my understanding was out of date, and at times I was the only person to agree with my own suggestions. Later I went with this spirit to the Eleventh Plenum
After the working meeting of the Central Committeefootnote8 the emphasis was on criticizing the bourgeois reactionary line. As the criticism of this line aroused the revolutionary enthusiasm of many revolutionaries, the revolutionary intellectuals and the young students were the first to achieve consciousness, which is in accordance with the laws of revolutionary development. In January of this year the Shanghai workers rose, as did the workers of the whole country and the peasants too, when the January Stormfootnote9 swept across the country. The development of the movement showed that the workers and peasants are still the main force—the soldiers are only workers and peasants in uniform, so that workers, peasants and soldiers are, at root, workers and peasants. Only when the broad masses of workers and peasants arose was all that bourgeois stuff thoroughly smashed; while the revolutionary intellectuals and the young students had to fall back into a subsidiary place.
Isn’t that so? As soon as the workers rose they smashed reactionary economism,footnote10 seized power from the people in authority taking the capitalist road, and hastened revolutionary great alliances and triple combinations. The triple combination is a law of the development of a revolutionary movement: it was in the democratic revolution and it is too in the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. In the May Fourth Movementfootnote11 of the democratic revolution the revolutionary intellectuals were the first to be awakened and the first to set things going, but very soon afterwards the workers and peasants were the main force in the revolutionary storms of the Northern Expeditionfootnote12 and the Long March.
From the Eleventh Plenum of the Eighth Central Committee to the January Storm can be regarded as the second stage. From the January Storm, the power seizures, the great alliances and the triple combinations onwards can be taken as the third stage. Although the broad masses of the workers and peasants gave an impulse to the great alliances, and although the Central Committee also hoped that great alliances would be rapidly achieved, yet the proletariat has to follow the proletarian world outlook in changing the world. The bourgeoisie has to change the world in accordance with its own world outlook. The petit-bourgeois and bourgeois ideology that was in full spate among the intellectuals and the young students, however, wrecked this situation. Each class still has to express itself stubbornly. As the laws of class struggle can’t be changed in accordance with men’s subjective wills we have been unable to form alliances, and the alliances that were formed have split apart very quickly and don’t hold together any more. We will have to slow our pace somewhat.
After the publication of Ch’i Pen-yü’s ‘Patriotism or National Betrayal?’footnote13